December 7, 2015

Choosing the Right Assisted Living Residence

By Deb Fichera, Director of Resident Care, Harriett & Ralph Kaplan Estates
Assisted Living, also called Residential Care, is a type of living community with personal support services available, such as meals, housekeeping and assistance with activities of daily life. Some Assisted Living models also offer additional support services like transportation, rehabilitation and medication management, to name a few. Assisted Living Residences (ALRs) are defined differently from state-to-state and each state has its own licensing requirements and regulations.
Important aspects of the Assisted Living model include security, comfort and meaningful engagement with others. Unlike traditional nursing home residences, the residents in Assisted Living remain independent, living on their own in a community residential setting.
Assisted Living is essentially the gap in between home care and skilled nursing care. Before ALRs, a person who required more care than home care services could fulfill had to reside within a skilled nursing home, even though they did not require that level of care. Most ALRs will still allow home care providers to come in and service a resident’s medical needs, which are not provided by the facility itself.
Today, people have a wide range of choices when it comes to residential care communities. So how does one make the right choice? Here are some important topics to think about when choosing the right assisted living residence:

  • Be Informed—Learn about Assisted Living accommodations and services. Take time to shop around so you know what facilities will meet your needs. Visit a few places, not just once, but at least twice–or more. Talk to the staff and residents. Don’t forget to pick up a brochure or pamphlet and take notes so you’ll remember the distinguishing characteristics.
  • Be Prepared—Learn about Assisted Living costs. Find out the overall cost and make sure to ask what is included in those costs. Are meals, housekeeping and laundry included? Are there any additional charges for home care services? Does the facility provide transportation? Ask for a copy of their pricing list.

Sometimes, a personal health crisis necessitates a more immediate choice; however, it is always ideal to take the time to make an informed decision by visiting as many communities as possible and gathering information about each of them.
If you would like more information about the Harriett & Ralph Kaplan Estates in Peabody, or to schedule a tour, please call 978-532-4411.